Concerned about the brewing disagreement between the Rivers State Government and the state’s chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has tasked both sides to return to the negotiating table.
While the NLC is accusing the state government of not paying workers the genuine minimum wage, the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration says what it paid was in line with the federal government’s approval and dared Labour to carry out its threats.
However, Peterside, who is the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is admonishing Governor Wike and NLC not to heat up the state unnecessarily.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, he called on the Rivers state government to look at the complaints of NLC with an open mind and not that of an “oppressor who can do no wrong.”
“It seems the NLC does have a case and the only logical thing to do is to listen to them and not accuse them of being used by imaginary politicians. Perhaps Wike has forgotten that the same workers declared their support for him during the governorship election.
“There is no crime in calling the leadership of NLC to a meeting and resolve grey areas rather than threatening them with dire consequences. Only an emperor behaves this way and this is not the way to go.
“The combative nature of the governor on many occasions leaves much to be desired and it is in this kind situation that you expect him to be reconciliatory rather than confrontational,” he stressed.
The NIMASA boss called on the state’s NLC leadership to explore all possible avenues to amicably resolve contending issues, adding that anything less than that would further shrink the state’s economy.
“Let me call on the leadership of NLC to explore as many platforms as possible in trying to resolve grey areas. Anything short of this will have a telling effect on the state’s economy and productivity.
“Let me also appeal to the workers to remain calm and trust in the ability of the state government and NLC to iron out contending issues to the benefit of all. We must keep the economy of the state going,” he stated.
Dakuku Peterside Media Team